Crows Parents, Fearless Defenders
Written by Ellen Blackstone
This is BirdNote!
[Alarm call of American Crows protecting a nest]
You’re hearing American Crows defending their nest, protecting their young! [More alarm calls of the American Crow]
Although the American Crow may seem rather blasé about pillaging another bird’s nest, like that of this House Finch [distress call of the House Finch] it regards a threat to its own young as a punishable offense. Crows are territorial, very protective of their food sources, ferocious and fearless as parents. [Call of American Crow]
Young crows fledge, or leave the nest, when they are around five or six weeks old and nearly the same size as adults. But they still can’t feed or protect themselves. Fortunately, their parents look out for them for months. In fact, immature crows don’t mate until they are at least two years old. They often stay with the family all that time, learning from the parents and even helping with next year’s brood.
To protect their young, adult crows dive-bomb people, cats, and other birds or animals. They strike with their feet, whip with their wings, and peck if they get a chance. The best thing you can do when there are baby crows around is keep your distance! [More calls of American Crows defending their nest]
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
Support for BirdNote comes from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, presenting its new “Bird Photography” online course, featuring Melissa Groo. Learn more at academy.allaboutbirds.org.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.A. Keller and G.W. Vyn.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and produced by John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org June 2017/2020 Narrator: Mary McCann